Low sales all round on Billboard

By Kevin Jackson
Observer writer

Thursday, January 17, 2019

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LOW sales are not confined to the Billboard Reggae Album Chart. This week's Billboard 200 Albums Chart (the main sales tally in the United States) shows the number one album Hoodie SZN by New York rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, selling a paltry 823 copies.

Hoodie SZN posted 83 million on-demand streams, equivalent of 58,000 copies. The multi-metric sum includes streams and downloads of individual songs along with sales of his 20-song album. It is a record low for a number one album, Billboard reports.

Since the advent of digital releases, sales in an already static music industry have worsened. Record companies made millions of dollars in the 1980s and 1990s when compact disc sales went through the roof.

With the rise of social media download formats, albums by even major artistes have plummeted globally.

Over on the Reggae Album Chart, Sting and Shaggy's 44/876 maintains its lock on the number one spot, for a 23rd non-consecutive week. It has sold 51,919 copies.

Free Rein by Rebelution holds steady at number two, with sales of 19,348, while moving up three places to number three is Everyday Life, Everyday People by Slightly Stoopid which has to date moved 14,861 units.

Beres Hammond's Never Ending moves up one spot to number four. It has sold 3,376 copies.

The self-titled set from California band Iration falls to number five, selling 9,247 copies, while Vanessa Bling's Still Standing EP rises to number six with 970.

Australian singer Sammy Johnson has to date charted three titles on the chart. His latest effort, the EP Moonlight Lovers, is his best showing to date. It peaked at number two last December and re-enters the Top 10 at number seven with sales of 434 copies.

Damian Marley's Grammy winner Stony Hill jumps back into the chart at number eight with to-date sales of 22,702, while Kabaka Pyramid's Kontraband holds firm at number nine, selling 1,376. It peaked at number three last year.

The enduring VP Records compilation series, Reggae Gold 2018: 25th Anniversary, which peaked at number three last summer, returns to the chart at number 10. It has sold 2,299 copies to date.

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